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Rushden Echo & Argus, 23rd Sept 1923
Recitals at the Independent Wesleyan Church

Mr Arthur Hayes at Rushden

Social Reconstruction Schemes

The annual visit of Mr. Arthur Hayes, O.B.E., the well-known elocutionist, of Nottingham, was paid to the High-street Independent Wesleyan Church, Rushden, during the last weekend. On Sunday Mr. Hayes preached in the morning and  evening and gave a recital in the afternoon. At the last two services the church was well filled.

Mr. Harry Jaques presided in the afternoon, and said that had Mr. Hayes's first visit of 14 years ago been his last it would still have left its impression. Mr. Hayes was about to recite to them parts of Dickens’s "Bleak House" and he (Mr. Jaques) could speak of that book as a masterpiece, especially in the perfect presentation of the numerous characters.

Mr Hayes gave a thrilled audience the covering the story in outline and touching chiefly on the pathetic little “Poor Joe”. By special request, he also gave again the piece “The Last Test Match”. Mrs Watson very nicely sang the solo “Beyond the Dawn”, and she and Mr. A. W. Tite, of Wellingborough effectively rendered the duet “Love Divine”, Miss N. Sharpe ably presiding at the organ. At the evening service the choir gave the anthem “The day is past and over”, the duet being taken by Mrs. Watson and Mr. Tite. Mr. W. T. L. Flood officiate at the organ. Mr. Hayes gave an interesting account of the forthcoming conference of representatives of the Roman Catholic, Anglican, and Nonconformist Churches at Birmingham, to inquire into and express an opinion on current, industrial, economic, social, and religious problems, so that the Church of God should speak with a united voice. He said it was one of the saddest things that the Church had so long been silent on those questions. Several reconstructions had been started after the war. One had done valuable work in providing refreshments for London City workers who had had to tramp several miles to work during the transport workers’ strike, but that and another society became defunt. A so called “Welfare Society” had provided clubs, but they had only given extra opportunities for drinking, in one case the members of a club being told that there was money enough to double the size of the premises, but the drink bill must be increased from £100 a week to £200 a week. In regard to the forthcoming Birmingham conference, the officials of the conference were sending out questionnaires in which Churches were asked to give their opinions on


unemployment, amusements, sport, etc. One startling reply to the questonnaire on youth was that only 7½ per cent of boys between 14 and 18 attended churches. He asked them to follow up the activities of the conference.

The front of the pulpit had been very beautifully adorned with an array of magnificent chrysanthemums of  many colours, kindly lent by Mr. J. Knight.

On Monday in the Queen-street Schools, Mr. L. Perkins, B.Sc., J.P., presiding, Mr. Hayes gave a recital of “Oliver Twist”. Mr. J Knight’s flowers had been displayed on the stage. The room was full and the recital began. The were were six scenes and the first was (1) The Workhouse , Oliver’s birth, (2) The Undertaker's House, (3) Mr. Brownlow's House, (4) Fagin's Den (Oliver recaptured) (5) Hotel, Fagin’s Den , Bill Sykes's Home (a terrible tragedy), (6) Mr. Brownlow’s House ("Right Prevails"). The presentation of each part was greeted with rapturous applause, the audience entering fully into the humorous touches and  the pathetic incidents.

At intervals Mr. Bert Sanders, who was in exceptionally fine voice, sang three songs, each of which was loudly encored. The items were ''The Floral Dance'' (encore, "Skippers of St. Ives''), "The Desert" ("The Ould Plaid Shawl''), "The Song of the Clock'' ("Why Shouldn't I?"). Mr. J. Lindsay Clipson, A.R.C.O., officiated at the piano in his usual finished style.

A comprehensive vote of thanks, on the initiative of the Rev. C. J. Keeler, was passed to Mr. Hayes, the chairman, Mr. Bert Sanders, Mr. J. L. Clipson, Mr. J. Knight, and (for their kindness in again entertaining Mr. Hayes) Mr. and Mrs. G. Denton, of "Eastfields'', Rushden. Response was made by Mr. Perkins and Mr. Hayes.

The Argus, Friday 30th September 1910, transcribed by Kay Collins

Rushden Notes
Dickens Recital – Thursday, November 24th in the Queen-street Schools, return visit of Mr. Arthur W. Hayes, M.D.E.S. Please keep this date open.

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